Getting to know /// Harper

Harper

Harper’s incredible mixture of indie and blues rock is highly intoxicating to say the least. Dirty, rock ‘n’ roll melodies are full of electricity and velvet sensuality mixed up with naughtiness and unrestrained live energy. Give Harper a listen, you will love them – Rock Britain guarantees that! Harper’s lead vocalist and guitarist Matthew Broadbent introduces the band and brings you closer to them.

– What’s the story behind Harper’s formation?
– Well Daniel (Lead Guitar) and I have been writing songs together for what seems like forever now, but we decided to take a break from each other, musically speaking, for a period in 2012. Towards the end of the year, I sent him some demos I was working on at the time, just some ideas I had lying around, nothing to do with Harper at this point. He brought some wonderful ideas to these songs and from there, it was like a germ, we just kept writing together throughout that winter, and came up with some of the songs that are known to be Harper songs now. It was quite a long, frustrating process in finding a rhythm section, but when we played with Jamie (Bass) and Toby (Drums) for the first time, everything fell into its place. There was a lot of writing in those first few weeks together, back in spring of 2013.
– You’ve got and EP and a single under your belts. How do these releases represent Harper at your present stage as a band?
– I think it’s two different things, really. When we decided to put ‘Drawing Blood Blues’ out in the summer, there was a feeling of needing to get that monkey of releasing music off our backs – The three tunes that make the E.P up were songs that we had for a while, and incidentally our favourite tunes to play. We were looking to replicate the energy of our live shows, up to that point, and those three songs, we felt, performed that job well. With ‘Feel So Hollow’, there’s still that desire to sound ‘live’, for want of a better term, but we wanted to add a new dimension to our sound, hopefully throwing something in that people might not have expected. We recorded it and produced it ourselves in Toby’s studio. It was nice to have complete control of our sound, because we feel it’s a perfect representation of where the band are right now. For me, that’s our best track simply because A) The sounds are something we hadn’t tried out before, and B) People can dance to it. And that’s what it’s all about.
 – What were the main milestones, stages in Harper’s sound development?
– That’s a pretty difficult question. The main, and most recent, milestone has probably been the release of ‘Feel So Hollow’. People seem to have really caught on to it, which is wonderful. Right now, every gig, it seems, feels like it’s building up to a major event. We’re ending the year on a high but we’ve got to keep going to make the milestones even more of a big deal.
– What are your main priorities and goals at your current period of life as a band?
– The list is endless! We’d like to keep the quality of music we make as high as it currently is and to have control over it.  There’s also a desire to become as good a live band as possible. Hopefully we can get some more shows in the diary for 2014. 
– What is your main approach to your live shows? What’s the most important thing for you in your live shows?
– We’re very conscious about our performance – We know how important it is to be a tight live band. Despite advances in modern studio technology and the internet, no one’s going to give you the time of day if you’re no good live. Whenever we go on stage, we give 110% to our shows and immerse ourselves completely in the set. There’s no point in being there, but not really caring about your show, is there? That translates to the people watching as well. But when we play, we always mean it. That’s the most important thing.
– What are your plans for 2014?
– Well, like I said, we’d like to get into the studio and build on the response ‘Feel So Hollow’s’ receiving right now. Hopefully we can do that and get some music out in the first half of 2014. In fact I’m pretty certain that’s going to happen. Like I mentioned, our live show is really important to us too. We’re currently looking at booking some shows in the fast approaching new year, and it’d be really cool to play in some new cities. It’s definitely something that’s in the works. I think the main plan is to build on this momentum we’re currently experiencing of the back of ‘Feel So Hollow’, and that’s going to take a lot of work both on and off stage.

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Photo Courtesy Luke Weall

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  1. […] a recent interview with Rock Britain, Broadbent discusses the stylistic motivation behind ‘Feel So Hollow’, […]



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